The following was submitted by the Norfolk District Attorney's office:
More than 100 Norfolk County Veterans, some in uniform and some in civilian clothes, attended District Attorney Michael Morrissey’s first Veterans Summit. They served in the Middle East, Korea, southeast and central Asia, and this month they came together in Norwood to learn about ways they can serve again.
“We invited all of Norfolk County’s Veterans Services Officers to our Canton office this spring and asked their help identifying the greatest needs and issues they saw for the people they are charged with serving,” District Attorney Morrissey explained after the event. “Their answer was access to services for Veterans, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and readjustment challenges, substance abuse and unfamiliarity with the Norfolk County Veterans Court. That became the template for the Summit."
Morrissey said he considers it imperative for government at every level to be looking for ways to support those who have served in uniform. He said his work with the Veterans Officers is ongoing, looking for programs and avenues to support those who have served.
The Summit featured Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran Kevin Lambert, who now works for the state’s Department of Veterans Services, presenting the “Battlemind,” program about transitioning from combat and service to home and civilian life. It is useful both for the Veteran facing challenges personally and those who work to help fellow Vets navigate adjusting.
Judge Mary Hogan Sullivan, her son a US Marine, presides over the Norfolk County Veterans Court that she formed with the support and partnership of District Attorney. The Judge moderated a panel explaining that first-in-New England program designed to connect court-involved Veterans with the services they need to right their paths. State Rep. John Rogers, of Norwood, spoke briefly about the legislative measures he is trying to implement to support the Veterans Court and its mission. Established Veterans also learned how they can become involved by serving as formal mentors for men and women who are involved in the Veterans Court program.
“Military service carries the obvious sacrifice of leaving the safety of home to place yourself in harm’s way,” District Attorney Morrissey said following the June 12 event. “It can also exact a less obvious price, as the training and experience that shapes young men and women into effective warriors become obstacles to re-entering civilian life. What we can do to help take down those obstacles, we are determined to do.”